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Skylon Global Company of Kenya announced winner of 2017 SheTrades Investment Challenge

24 February 2017
ITC News
More than 1,000 B2B meetings result in US$ 10m worth of business leads; ITC announces SheTrades Global.

(Istanbul) – Skylon Global Company, an digital enterprise from Kenya, was today declared winner of the SheTrades Investment Challenge. The announcement was made during the closing ceremony of the 2017 Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Kagider. Skylon Global’s investment pitch, which was presented to a panel of judges, was an app that will connect people more easily to healthcare providers.

Accepting the award Skylon Global’s Director Hellen Odegi said: ‘I feel humbled and proud on winning the SheTrades Investment Challenge. This will allow us to move beyond the existing web app concept and developing a fully functional web and mobile-phone app.’

‘The investment pitch from Skylon Global was extremely innovative and exhibited clear market demand,’ said ITC Executive Director Arancha González. ‘The concept presented by Skylon Global is innovative and sets out to deliver real impact on an issue that matters to people. It also provided a sound business plan and demonstrated how it would make the app sustainable while making people’s lives easier.’

Zimba Group, an ITC enterprise from Uganda was announced runner-up for its idea – Zimba Women – a digital app that would provide affordable market accessibility and help build capacities among women entrepreneurs. Four other companies from Kenya, Mongolia, Nigeria and Turkey – also took part in the pitching session at WVEF after having seen off competition from a raft of enterprises that had signed up to enter the SheTrades Investment Challenge.

Striking business deals

More than 1,000 business-to-business meetings were held between women entrepreneurs and buyers during the two-day event, which led to US$ 10 million worth of business leads.

Kagider President Sanem Oktar said: ‘It’s been two fantastic days here in Istanbul. We have been talking business and we have been doing business. A key message to take with us from WVEF 2017 is that buying from women is about more than just empowering women, it is also about empowering countries economically.’

WVEF 2017 attracted more than 400 women entrepreneurs and business-owners from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, who had business meetings with representatives from more than 50 buying companies, including Axa Insurance, Garanti Bank, IKEA, Microsoft, Deloitte, UPS and many others.

The two-day event also featured a series of inspirational sessions covering issues such financing, attracting investors, contract negotiations and how to use data in decision-making.

Announcing SheTrades Global

Closing the event, ITC Executive Director Arancha González announced that moving forward, WVEF would now be known asSheTrades Global to further align the event to ITC’s SheTrades initiative and highlight the importance of helping women to trade across borders. Since its launch in 2015 the SheTrades initiative has received commitments from governments, trade support institutions and the private sector to connect 800,000 women to markets. This suggests that the goal of 1 million women will be reached well ahead of the 2020 target.

Ms. González also said that the first edition of SheTrades Global would be held in the United Kingdom in 2018. She urged participants to continue to nurture the seven global actions of the SheTrades initiative and prepare to strike even more business deals at next year’s event.

Previous editions of WVEF have been held in Sao Paulo, Brazil (2015), Kigali, Rwanda (2014), Mexico City, Mexico (2012), Istanbul, Turkey (2011) and Chongqing, China (2010).

For more information on WEDF 2017, please visit and 


Useful links:
Women Vendors’ Exhibition and Forum
ITC’s SheTrades Initiative 
Executive Roundtable on Sourcing from Women Vendors

About ITC
ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development. For more information, visit Follow ITC on Twitter: @ITCnews

The Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER) is a non-governmental organization aimed at strengthening women entrepreneurs. Our goal is not to strengthen women only economically but also socially and politically. KAGIDER has made its mission to support women entrepreneurship because it believes that women entrepreneurs has a strong impact on reversing the trends of gender inequality and women’s economic exclusion. In addition, the goal is to bring attention to the societal contributions of women entrepreneurs in maintaining gender equality within society.

Contact: ITC
Jarle Hetland
Media Officer
P: +41 22 730 0145
M: +41 79 582 9180
E: hetland [at] (hetland[at]intracen[dot]org)


Contact: KAGIDER

Ms. Esra Idris
Events Manager
M: +90 532 514 77 15
E: esraidris [at] (esraidris[at]kagider[dot]org)